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Christology and CosmologyModels of Divine Activity in Origen, Eusebius, and Athanasius$
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J. Rebecca Lyman

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198267454

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198267454.001.0001

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Athanasius Transcendence and Transformation

Athanasius Transcendence and Transformation

(p.124) 4 Athanasius Transcendence and Transformation
Christology and Cosmology


Oxford University Press

Athanasius' passionate defence of the incarnation of Christ appears to provide a purely religious cosmology. This ‘soteriological’ or ‘Christocentric’ emphasis is a commonplace in scholarly literature: the incarnate Christ was not the culmination of pedagogical cosmology or history, but rather the key to the salvation of all existence. Throughout his career of over four decades as bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius combined administrative, political, and theological skills to bring unity and to ensure Nicene orthodoxy in the Eastern church. Discussion on Athanasius as theologian is given as well. His reflections on anthropology show a similar mix of ascetic interests, polemical refutations, and soteriological issues. Examples that demonstrate one of the troublesome issues of his theology of incarnation are explained. Athanasius' compelling theological vision derived strength from a Christian transposition of contemporary trends to underline soteriology and cosmology, with Christ as the decisive pivot.

Keywords:   Athanasius, Christ, soteriology, cosmology, Eastern church

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